Bucar, New Pittsburgh Safety Director; Agrees Police Morale Is Low


Stephen Bucar is expected to be confirmed today as Pittsburgh’s public safety director, taking the helm of a police department that saw its former chief sent to federal prison this year. reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He's such a pleasant and personable guy,” said City Council President Bruce Kraus of the 54-year-old former FBI agent and Pennsylvania state trooper. “To me, he's the complete package.”

Bucar acknowledged low morale at the police bureau, which he called a “very professional organization” though one in which a “small number of bad seeds” get all the publicity. “It taints and paints with a broad brush,” he said, adding that public perception of officers affects their work. The way forward, he said, is to build leadership that instills respect in the rank and file, and a new chief who not only can inspire officers but successfully reach out to communities that have seen a deteriorating relationship with the department. Councilman Ricky Burgess complained that the department had flatly refused to fully implement the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime, a 4-year-old local version of a violence-intervention program that has seen success in other cities and one that Mayor Bill Peduto and Bucar say they want to revamp.

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